Saturday, March 4, 2006


Scientists object to Bush’s moon-Mars missions

`Scientists who study the sun, moon, planets and stars on Thursday protested the Bush administration’s plan to send humans back to the moon and on to Mars.

They say the president’s two-year-old Vision for Space Exploration program is gobbling up billions of dollars that they think could be better used for less expensive projects, including new telescopes and unmanned robots such as the twin rovers on Mars.

NASA has cut more than $3 billion from what it had promised for Earth and space science programs to make room for the moon-Mars exploration missions and 16 more shuttle flights to the half-finished International Space Station.

Partly as a result, the launch of the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope has been delayed until 2013, the search for Earthlike planets around other stars has been deferred indefinitely and the budget for the “astrobiology” program – the quest for life on other worlds – has been slashed by 50 percent.’

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